Tag Archives: braid

Kumihimo tricks and tips

15 May

The lady at the bead shop told us in the spring of 2012 that we were about a year ahead of the kumihimo trend. When we first started making bracelets with buttons we could only find one other person incorporating a button in their kumihimo design and the way they finished off the bracelet was completely different. Well, it looks like the lady at the bead store was prophetic! We are amazed at the kumihimo and button creations showing up on Google and Etsy these days.

Now that the kumihimo trend has caught on, I thought it would be nice to share some tips and tricks we learned along the way.

1. If you use Magatama beads, you will need a bit more C-Lon then just seed beads. Adjust the length of your cord for larger or smaller beads accordingly. The larger the bead, the more cord you need.
2. We usually measure one strand of C-Lon or S-Lon by measuring it from our hand to shoulder with arm extended.
3. I like to measure all eight strands at the same time and then cut once, keeping four strands doubled (to make eight strands). This way I can thread the strand through the button holes and have eight strands ready to go.
4. At the beginning, don’t braid more than 1/8″ or your button will stick out. You want the button to lay as flat as possible on the wrist for comfort.
5. Be sure to keep your cord taught on the loom. This will keep your design uniform.
5. If you need to take a break, do it when you have three cords at one spot. Then you will know right where to pick back up.
6. When finishing, use a good glue and be sure your knot is secure.
7. If you run out of cording, you are toast. You can always add beads but not cording.
8. Remember your cording will show, so match it to the beads or button.
9. If you miss a bead and don’t find it until after the piece is done, you can add a bead by threading cording and a bead on a needle and working it into the missed space. Just run your cord through a few beads on either side and secure with a hidden knot, like in sewing.
10. Don’t make your finished loop too long. If you do (we did this many times at first), go back and re-tie your finish knot, cut off the excess, and be sure the loop is just barely big enough to fit around the button. Otherwise your bracelet will look odd.

Hope these tips and tricks make your kumihimo experience a bit easier. Enjoy!

Beth
View our creations on Etsy

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Kumihimo bracelet with Magatama beads cost per bracelet

11 Nov

We were recently discussing our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads and the cost per bracelet.

I thought I would share a perspective of what is takes to create one of our CAAZ and effect Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama seed beads. First we need supplies; a beading mat, braiding disk, plastic bobbins, beading needle, scissors, hanging weight, and book with pattern suggestions.

Next we need materials. We typically use Magatama beads and C-Lon cord. A tube of long Magatama beads costs anywhere from $5 to $12 a tube. We usually use from three to five colors. C-Lon cord runs about $4 per spool and we match the color of our cord to the bead, using several colors per bracelet.

Once we have counted out the beads for each of the eight strands, string the beads, and wind the cord on the bobbins, it’s time to braid. It takes about two hours to complete the braiding process. Once the braid is complete it’s on to finish the piece. This includes a button, large bead, and often a charm. Each of these items need to be purchased adding to the production cost.

We sell our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads for $48. Unfortunately not a lot of profit. It’s a good thing we love the creative process!

Feel free to view our products at CAAZandeffect

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Kumihimo and fiber

6 Nov

Kumihimo braiding with fiber has endless possibilities. Ribbon, cord, yarn, leather, satin, almost anything can be used to create a fabulous kumihimo piece. Be sure to test your fiber for stretching. It isn’t fun to create a piece thinking it will be one length only to find out when pulled, it multiplies in size. For example, we tried braiding a ribbon made of 26% nylon, 74% polyester, only to find our careful calculations for a seven inch bracelet turned into a ten inch bracelet when completed due to stretching. If you use a heavy weight with your creation, as you braid it, you will notice it get skinnier and longer. We found that 100% polyester works best. Stay away from anything with nylon in it. Satin cord and most yarns work well without stretching. If your fiber stretches before you make the piece, it will definitely stretch when completed and unfortunately it doesn’t shrink back to the smaller size.

View our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads here…CAAZandeffect

Difference between kumihimo and macramé

23 Oct

Typically macramé uses four strands of cord where kumihimo usually uses eight strands of cord.

I started doing macramé projects as a teenager. I made bracelets and plant hangers (remember hanging a fern in the corner of the living room inside a rope looking thing? That was macramé!). I used an old cardboard insert from a bolt of fabric to work the cord. I would pin the four strand cord by a knot at the top of the board then work my design down the board using a pattern of a forward or backward number 4. There has been a recent increase in macramé friendship bracelets.

More recently I discovered the more intricate work of kumihimo, an old Japanese technique. Kumihimo uses eight strands of cord and a braiding disk. The patterns change based on the color of cord and the placement of the cord on the disk. The braiding disk has a hole in the center and the finished product hangs from the center. The resulting product can be flat or round, thin or thick depending on the size of the cord.

Our creations can be viewed here…CAAZandeffect

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Kumihimo…here we go!

18 Oct

If you can read this….just know that I am so excited you found it!!! My name is Beth. I’m a wife, mom of two adult sons, and I live in Gilbert, Arizona. I left a corporate job this year to travel, spend time with family and slow down. On one of my trips this year, my sister-in-law Debbie, taught me how to braid beautiful bracelets using the ancient Japanese technique called Kumihimo. I was hooked immediately. The combinations of colors, cording, patterns, finishings, all of it, fascinates me. Together, Debbie and I, are having a great time navigating the social media sites and telling our peeps about our jewelry. I hope you enjoy our creations as much as we enjoy creating them. CAAZandeffect

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